​The King of FU

​The King of FU

Hi everyone! Our first book got published…

It is a somewhat demented poetic magical-realism memoir about growing up in America in the 90’s.

Illustrated by Nikita, published by Nada Blank Press and written by me.


If you don’t have a kindle / live outside of the US, you can get a digital copy straight from the publisher here:

https://www.nadablank.com/copy-of-epress


You can also get it on Kindle or Paperback on Amazon. It is up on Kindle Unlimited right now as well so if you’ve got that you can read it for free.


You can find it on Amazon here:

http://bit.ly/KingOfFu


 

*Note: if you are buying it through Amazon, please buy the paperback. The hardcover was a test copy that did not work out, but was bought by a wholesaler before it could get taken down.

 

Editorial Review – The King of Fu

New review of ‘The King of FU’ is on Book Review Directory.

The Book Review Directory

Title: The King of Fu

Author: Benjamin Davis

Genre: Memoir / Magical realism / Coming of age

The kingdom of Fu is the unique backdrop Benjamin Davis uses to share the beginning of his life story. Divided into three parts–umbilical cords, childhood, and adolescence–The King of Fu is a reflection of his feelings about everything from his relationships with his family members to death, sex, and pornography and focuses on the question of what it means to be an adult.

View original post 441 more words

Let’s Freelance this Bitch [Part 3]

Let’s Freelance this Bitch [Part 3]

Let’s Freelance This Bitch (week 3)

The Good, the Bad, and the fuck it.

Hello! It’s Elliot, Ben’s brother who decided to also say fuck it and quit his job to try living off of freelance work.

For this update, I wanted to highlight some of the habits you pick up when you start trying to work as a freelancer. Some are good. Others not so much.

The Good:

  • Reading: I am actually reading books again. Yeah bookS, with an S. Oh. Have I finished them? No. Baby steps.
  • Sleeping: Getting a solid 8 hours of sleep every night is nearly impossible but freelancing has allowed us to both (usually) do this. The sleep isn’t always quality but we’ll get to that.
  • Cleaning: When you spend most of each day in your kitchen, you are confronted by the evidence of your dirty lifestyle. Our sink has never been more free of dishes (and cockroaches).
  • Cats: We get to hang out with our cats all day—Wait. Are we just old people? Has freelancing turned us into babushkas? Shit.

The Bad:

  • Eating: We don’t always eat breakfast. Coffee is a much bigger priority. Wait, this was a problem before. We should really eat breakfast.
  • Drinking: Every night is the weekend! Right? Guys, right?
  • Work/Life Balance: 1pm in the kitchen, 8pm at a bar, 2am in the kitchen. These are normal times and places for work.

The Ugly:

  • Showering: I don’t think I need to elaborate.
  • Shaving: See “Showering.”
  • Clothing: 3 day jeans become 1 week jeans. We’re both essentially recurring cartoon characters at this point

SUCCESS!

Two articles in Russia Beyond.

Accepted as “blaster” (yeah that’s the position title) on Blasting News.

Part-Time remote work with NDA.

Video explainer script finished.

Accepted job writing text for online comics.

Total Made: $480 (More to come)


FAILURE:

3 Different pitches for a film news site have been rejected (ignored)

Still no word from Cards Against Humanity.

Fun Stuff:

We went on vacation! Romania is one of the best places either of us have ever been. For perspective, Ben hasn’t lived in America in almost 10 years. If you are looking for a cheaper, significantly less-crowded, and equally (more) beautiful European destination, check Romania. Don’t believe me? Look at this:

Picture1

Elliot Davis, 2018

Ben’s Book, The King of Fu is officially out on Paperback! He and Nikita had a reading at Mayakovskogo Library. Enjoy Ben’s nervous face below:

Picture1

Previous work:

3 Reasons you’re not funny in Russia (Published in Russia Beyond)

How Russians Changed my Life [Published in Russia Beyond]

3 Insane Conversations with my Russian Girlfriend [Published in Russia Beyond]

Why Russians and Americans are not that Different [Published in Russia Beyond]

Why does Bitcoin Have Value? [Published in Hackernoon]

The Longest New York Minute [Published in Dataspaceone]

Who Owns Your Body? [Published in Dataspaceone]

RATE CARD:

Article Writing (Technology & Business) 400-600 words: $100

800-1000 words: $150

1200+ words: per project

Article Writing (Lifestyle) $50-100 based on
Editorial Services (Creative works) $.05 / word
Editorial Services (Technical) $20 / hour
Copywriting for Social Media Per Project
Resume Writing $200
Web Content Creation Per Project
Social Media Creation / Management Per Project
Video Production Services Per Project
Voice Recording $15 per minute

[min charge for any project – Equivalent of 1 Hour]

 

bees

New poem of mine just published over at Hijacked Amygdala. Check it out and let me know what you think.

hijacked amygdala

my dad never runs from bees
but I run from bees
does that mean I am not a man?

bees are small and evil little yellow and black things
that cause you pain
but everyone still wants to save them

I want to kill them all
but if we kill them all we all also
die
this is called nature
it sucks
it is an absurdist joke in bad taste

I was outside of a wedding when it happened
the bee
I ran from it
an old woman watched me
and I could see in her eyes she thought

“that’s not a man”

and I thought
bees are dumb
this is dumb
everything is dumb

why aren’t you running from the bee
you crazy old bitch

View original post

How Saint Petersburg, Russia Inspired me to Write Magical Realism

How Saint Petersburg, Russia Inspired me to Write Magical Realism
artwork by Nikita Klimov

Before I left for Russia, when I’d tell Americans where I was headed, they’d say, “why the hell are you going to Russia?” And, I never was able to answer, as much as I wanted to. I was only curious and even more curious about what made people quite so afraid. Were there monsters in Russia? Were there spies down every alley and primordial bits of darkness that I’d have to navigate in order to avoid being lost forever?

On the plane, I began reading a book called, Russian Fairy Tales (The Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library) by Aleksandr Afanas’ev.  I’d traveled before, read fairy tales before. I have sat and read Grimm’s Fairy Tales then got off a train in Berlin where blue skies and a clean and orderly Starbucks greeted me.

When I closed “Russian Fairy Tales” and exited the airport in Saint Petersburg I was greeted by a heavy gray sky and a crumpled-up man who skulked toward me, hand outstretched and said, “cigarette?” Even as I remember it now I remember that he certainly had wooden teeth, a long gray-green beard, and probably only one ear and certainly his left eye was completely black.

A Leshy if I ever saw one.

I hadn’t slept much on the plane and I was full of mostly tomato juice and anti-allergy medication. From the airport, I found myself on a bus where an old woman in a vest with iron teeth and a limp demanded from me the tokens I had exchanged my money for back in the terminal. She spoke a language I didn’t know and smiled in the same fashion as a leather jacket, or a boulder.

Something was afoot.

When I started to meet Russians and they found out I was American they’d say, “why the hell did you come to Russia?” And, I was never able answer, as much as I wanted to. This made everything even more curious and I had to wonder, is there a secret that everyone doesn’t want me to know? Are they protecting me from getting eaten by the Baba Yaga? Do they not want me to inform the rest of the world that they are using Domovoi to spy on foreign ministers?

Not long after getting settled, fearing a tartar invasion and wondering if the curator at the water museum was a Rusalka KGB agent, I was rescued by an artist who said,

“I wonder if you could float down the Fontanka River to Finland.”

And I replied, “No one would survive that.”

And he informed me, “a babushka could.”

From there we took refuge in the grounded reality of the internet. We started working together creating art and stories every day for a project we called Flash-365. I was drawn more and more to finding stories and I looked in all of the usual places you find stories; walking along canals, on the broken-off noses of old statues, and just behind the fake-teeth of the elderly.

Just as an old man or woman will have more stories to tell than a child, so I found that Russia–being old and somewhat senile–had more stories tucked away than America, and with age comes a frailty of reality that brings to the surface superstitions and ideologies that are deeply rooted and deeply felt.

In the end, magical realism became a coping mechanism for myself as an observer of a multifaceted and emotionally complex culture that I can never hope to fully understand.

Maybe if I had slept well on the flight, or if I’d been reading Sherlock Holmes, or if I took a taxi rather than the bus; or if it had been a light summer day rather than a thick fall sky, if Saint Petersburg had bike paths instead of canals, if Peter the Great fell in love with Asia instead of Europe, if Ghengis Khan had gone South instead of West, or if some important someone somewhere along the way choked on a peanut and the city where I now live had been changed, I may have gotten off the plane and written a comedic teleplay instead.